Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (“Zenyatta” or the “Company”) (TSXV: ZEN) is pleased to provide an update on the Company’s recent activities. On May 11th 2018, Zenyatta’s shareholders elected new Board members after a proxy battle in which shareholders opposing the existing management prevailed. The change of leadership was based on grassroots acceptance of a proposed platform of measures deemed necessary to move the company forward. With more than seven weeks behind us and a review of the Company completed, the new Board is now disclosing its plans for the next four months to advance the Albany Graphite Project, which reflects the key points of its platform.
Dr. Francis Dubé, Head of Business Development and Technology, commented “the more we learn from our marketing program about the potential for Albany Graphite to be a unique feed material for making high-purity graphene products, the more excited we get about Zenyatta’s future business prospects. Graphene is rapidly emerging as a high-value product that will be beneficial in a broad range of high technology applications. These new market developments will positively influence the business model for Albany Graphite, including the mine plan and process flowsheet and this information will be very important for future project development studies.”
Zenyatta’s planned activities for the next four months include:
Market Development: The Company has recently hired two new consultants, Mr. Philippe Chataigneau as Head of Sales and Dr. Colin van der Kuur as Research Catalyst. Both are working closely with Peter Wood and Dr. Francis Dubé and have already initiated seven new contacts with companies that have a commercial interest in using graphene or graphene oxide to enhance the performance of their products. Given the many potential markets emerging for Albany Graphite products, defining the best market opportunities will help guide product development toward securing off-take commitments.
Metallurgical Process Development: Zenyatta is pleased to announce that James Jordan, P.Eng., will renew his engagement with Zenyatta as its Project Manager and will continue to manage the metallurgical process testwork and project development. Zenyatta’s new Board has been working closely with Mr. Jordan and SGS Canada Inc. to provide shareholders with an update on the results of important work completed in 2017. It is anticipated that the report will be completed and reviewed within the next three weeks, and the results will then be disclosed in a news release. It should be noted that development of the beneficiation and purification process was only suspended due to lack of funds and results to date have been encouraging.
Update on Third Party Research Agreements: The new Zenyatta team has reviewed the list of research agreements covering collaboration with various groups who are investigating applications using Albany Graphite. Assessment of their status is ongoing and the Company plans to report on progress within the next six weeks.
Community Engagement and Environmental Assessment: The new Zenyatta team is in discussion with Constance Lake First Nation (“CLFN”) toward establishing a partnership agreement. The Company is also in consultation with CLFN to seek their input and establish priorities before preparing a budget and schedule for the environmental assessment work. Zenyatta is committed to the environmentally and socially responsible development of the project and recognizes the significance of permitting in the timeline of any new mineral development project.
CLFN Chief Allen commented: “Constance Lake hopes to establish a continuous constructive dialogue with Zenyatta regarding the development of the graphite project on our traditional territory. We are establishing a process to enable us to understand Zenyatta’s plan for the project so that we can assess its economic potential and impact on our community and environment. We will frame our expectations based on our understanding of the project.”
Bulk Sample: Zenyatta is currently assessing the required bulk sample size and cost for a program which will include equipment access at site, sample collection and transportation of the recovered material. The mineralized material will be processed to provide a large volume of purified graphite samples having specific physical and purity specifications for end user evaluation. The purified graphite will also be used to produce larger quantities of graphene and graphene oxide for continued large-scale end user evaluation and product development. The size of the bulk sample will be based on the demand for product received during the next few months as the Company engages with additional potential end users. In preparation for this program, Zenyatta has recently applied to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines for permission to collect a 990 tonne bulk sample and the ability to sell any material that is subsequently produced from it.
Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”): In light of new market opportunities involving graphene applications, simplification of the metallurgical process and a much better understanding of the unique characteristics of Albany graphite deposit, Zenyatta intends to review all new information to determine the optimal development model for the next level of technical study. It may be appropriate to prepare an updated PEA before proceeding with the PFS. The Company will provide an update on the status of this work and the bulk sample program in September.
Funding: A private placement financing was completed on Friday June 22, 2018 and this gives Zenyatta the time to assess the work that needs to be accomplished over the next 12 months along with the required budgets to complete these endeavours. Once these budgets have been established, Zenyatta will look at all financing options including, but not limited to, a rights offering. The Company will elaborate on its future financing plans at the next AGM, scheduled for September 27, 2018.
Additionally, 1,400,000 Options have been granted to directors, management and consultants of the company at a price of $0.50.
Zenyatta’s Albany Graphite Project hosts a large and unique quality deposit of highly crystalline graphite. Independent labs in Japan, UK, Israel, USA and Canada have demonstrated that Zenyatta’s Albany GraphiteTM easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene using a variety of simple mechanical and chemical methods. The deposit is located in northern Ontario just 30km north of the Trans-Canada Highway, near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. Important nearby infrastructure include hydro-power, natural gas pipeline, a rail line 50 km away and an all-weather road just 10 km from the deposit.
Mr. Peter Wood, P.Eng, P.Geo., Vice President of Zenyatta, is the “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.
For further information:
Dr. Francis Dubé, Director & Head of Business Development and Technology
Tel: +1 (289) 821-2820
To find out more on Zenyatta Ventures Ltd., please visit our website at www.zenyatta.ca. A copy of this press release and all material documents with respect of the Company may be obtained on Zenyatta’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.ca.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: The Company has completed a July 9, 2015 Preliminary Economic Assessment which indicates an open pit mine life of 22 years (excludes underground resource which is open at depth) producing 30,000 tonnes purified graphite per annum (see Zenyatta press release of 1 June 2015). The PEA is preliminary in nature, it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain forward looking information and Zenyatta cautions readers that forward looking information is based on certain assumptions and risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations of Zenyatta included in this news release. This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements”, which often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as “potential”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “expects”, “estimates”, “may”, “could”, “would”, “will”, or “plan”. These statements are based on information currently available to Zenyatta and Zenyatta provides no assurance that actual results will meet management’s expectations. Forward-looking statements include estimates and statements with respect to Zenyatta’s future plans, objectives or goals, to the effect that Zenyatta or management expects a stated condition or result to occur, including the expected timing for release of a pre-feasibility study, the expected uses for graphite or graphene in the future, and the future uses of the graphite from Zenyatta’s Albany deposit. Since forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results relating to, among other things, results of metallurgical processing, ongoing exploration, project development, reclamation and capital costs of Zenyatta’s mineral properties, and Zenyatta’s financial condition and prospects, could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements for many reasons such as, but are not limited to: failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves; the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results; the inability to identify target markets and satisfy the product criteria for such markets; the inability to complete a prefeasibility study; the inability to enter into offtake agreements with qualified purchasers; delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals; political risks; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates; fluctuations in commodity prices; delays in the development of projects; capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry; and those risks set out in Zenyatta’s public documents filed on SEDAR. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. Although Zenyatta believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Zenyatta disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.